Publishing Collaboration Results in Second Patient-Authored Book About ICD

Newly published: ICD Connection: Living with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). A collection of stories from women and men. The book, which is available print-on-demand or freely as OER on the Open.Michigan website, focuses on life for patients with ICDs from men’s and women’s points of view.

About the size of a stopwatch, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, ICD, is an electronic device that gives immediate therapy to life threatening arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) via a painless pacing sequence or jolt of electricity. Some ICDs also act as pacemakers.

Book cover image for ICD Connection: Living with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). A collection of stories from women and men

After taking part in and receiving much positive feedback from both patients and healthcare providers for the collaborative ICD Connection: Living with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. A collection of stories from patients and their families, editor Helen McFarland, R.N., was inspired to explore experiences of living with an ICD from perspectives unique to each gender.

“Although much of the experience of having an ICD implanted is shared between the genders, there are unique experiences that only another woman can understand and vice versa for men…Connecting with others who are experiencing similar situations can help us find encouragement and hope in our own situations. Thank you [contributors] for your generosity.”

An ICD has a significant impact on a patient’s life. This new book is filled with touching stories from women and men of all ages, and how the ICD implant affected their life, their challenges and struggles and what was (or wasn’t) helpful in adjusting to life with an ICD. The heartfelt stories talk about patients feeling scared or depressed (which is common), and fears that loved ones will be afraid to touch them. The book also answers some practical questions specific to women (mammogram, undergarments, pregnancy), and to men (intimacy, everyday activity, and even microwave ovens).

This is the second time McFarland has worked with Open.Michigan, and applied a Creative Commons license to her work, citing her positive experience with the first publication as well as wanting this book to have as broad impact as the first, including a global audience.

McFarland says, “The first time around I felt like I was trying to move a mountain, and Jasna Markovac, Director of Medical School Information Services Learning Design and Publishing, and her team skillfully guided me through the entire process. This time I felt empowered to produce the book.”

Purchase the ICD Connection on Amazon, or download it for free from the Open.Michigan website.

Learn more about McFarland’s first publication about ICDs on the Open.Michigan blog, “Unique Publishing Collaboration Results in Patient-Authored Book.” You might also enjoy reading the U-M Health System press release, “Unique book gives ICD patients a voice, offers hope to others” by Susan Topol, Marketing and Communications Manager, Medical School Information Services.

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